Factory hands and office workers work in very different environments and do very different jobs. A factory hand usually works in a warehouse, while an office worker is employed in an office environment. Most factory workers assemble or package goods, while most office workers deal with preparing and/or analyzing information.
Another name for those who work in warehouses are assemblers or process workers. They put together parts to form a whole item or work on a specific sub-system of a whole item. These individuals may work in a production line in a factory or in a section of a warehouse. Uniforms and safety gear, such as gloves or protective eyewear, may be required.
Office workers do not usually need uniforms or safety materials. They are usually expected to wear clothing suitable for an office, such as a dress shirt and slacks for men and a blouse and slacks or a skirt for women. Some offices are more casual than others, and it is up to the individual employee to dress in a way that fits in with the particular office culture.
Some office workers sit in a cubicle in front of a computer for most of the day, while factory workers usually stand or are physically active all day. A file clerk in an office may stand for most of the day, however, and some factory workers may sit. Office workers may enter information into a computer or gather information from a computer to complete written tasks, while process workers often use computers only for inventory or assembly-related purposes.
In addition to manual assembly work, factory hands may also clean machinery, check for defects in products, pack and stack boxes, and load and unload materials. Office workers do not usually do any type of cleaning or physical labor. They are often more concerned with mental activities such as balancing an account, making a sale, or writing a report.
Both tyeps of employees may do repetitive tasks. Sometimes, they alternate their jobs with other workers to avoid doing exactly the same thing each day. They also both need to be team players who can follow instructions well.